by Alan Jones, interviews peter Ridd, July 28, 2017 in JoNova
Corals have a little thermometer built in them, when you take a core of them from many years ago we know what the temperature of the water was back when Captain Cook sailed up the coast, it was actually about the same temperature then. It was colder 100 years ago, but it has recovered from that. The temperatures on the reef are not even significantly warmer than average on a hundred year timescale.
Corals that bleach in one year will be less susceptible to bleaching in following years
by James Cook University and Université Catholique de Louvain, July 3, 2017, in ScienceDaily
Professor Wolanski said the study was subjective to the extent that there was a lack of oceanographic field data in the Great Barrier Reef itself for the 2016 el Nino event. By contrast, the amount of oceanographic field data in the Torres Strait and the northern Coral Sea was very good.
« What we presented is our best-informed attempt to reveal the mechanisms involved in causing the event, based on the available oceanographic data combined with the existing body of knowledge on the water circulation in and around the Torres Strait/Northern Great Barrier Reef region. »
by S.D. Connell et al., 2017 in Current Biology (in CO2 Science)
The increasing absorption of CO2 and associated decline in seawater pH values is thought to pose direct harm to marine life in the decades and centuries to come by affecting rates of survival, calcification, growth, development and/or reproduction. However, as ever more pertinent evidence accumulates, a much more optimistic viewpoint is emerging.
by Mote Marine Laboratory, June 5, 2017 in ScienceDaily
A controlled lab study led by Mote Marine Laboratory and published June 1 in the peer-reviewed journal PLOS ONE revealed that black band disease was less deadly to mountainous star coral (Orbicella faveolata) as water acidified, or decreased in pH.
by N.R. Evensen and P.J. Edmunds, 2017, J. Exp. Biology
Regardless of the actual mechanism responsible for the densely aggregated corals to maintain calcification rates in the face of ocean acidification, the study of Evensen and Edmunds, in their words, offers « a compelling case for differential densities of branching coral colonies (i.e. aggregation types) mediating the sensitivity of coral communities in at least some habitats » and it further supports « recent indications that neighboring organisms, such as conspecific coral colonies in the present example, can create small-scale refugia from the negative effects of ocean acidification » And that is more good news for those concerned about the future health of these important marine ecosystems.
by Rutgers University, June1, 2017 in SienceDaily
Stony corals may be more resilient to ocean acidification than once thought, according to a Rutgers University study that shows they rely on proteins to help create their rock-hard skeletons.
« The bottom line is that corals will make rock even under adverse conditions, » said Paul G. Falkowski, a distinguished professor who leads the Environmental Biophysics and Molecular Ecology Laboratory at Rutgers University-New Brunswick. « They will probably make rock even as the ocean becomes slightly acidic from the burning of fossil fuels. »
See also here
by P. Ventura et al., 2016,
Writing as background for their work, Ventura et al. (2016) say that « non-calcifying photosynthetic anthozoans have emerged as a group that may thrive under high carbon dioxide partial pressure (pCO2) conditions via increased productivity, » yet they add that « the physiological mechanisms underlying this potential success are unclear. »
by Eghbert Elvan Ampou et al., 2017
The clear link between mortality and sea level fall also calls for a refinement of the hierarchy of El Niño impacts and their consequences on coral reefs.